Tag Archives: digital publishing

Bookouture: New Publisher, Women’s Fiction, 45% Royalties

Bookouture

Bookouture is a new publisher with an interesting twist.

They publish “entertaining fiction for smart, modern women”. So far, so interesting, yes?

Everyone knows publishing is broken, so Bookouture’s Oliver Rhodes, who was previously at Harlequin UK, seems to be focusing on authors, rather than their books. This is a good thing, because few authors know how to build their platform.

From the About page, About | Bookouture – bespoke digital publishingBookouture – bespoke digital publishing:

“For most authors outside the bestseller lists, traditional publishers simply aren’t adding enough value to justify low royalty rates. And because authors aren’t all experts in editing, design, or marketing, self-publishing doesn’t get the most out of their books or time.Digital publishing offers incredible opportunities to connect with readers all over the world – but finding the help you need to make the most of them can be tricky.”

Agent and publisher combined?

In days gone by, both the author’s literary agent AND the publisher were supposed to help an author to build their platform. Indeed, unless the author looked as if he’d be a prolific writer who would reliably turn out at least a book a year, no one was interested. It takes more than a book or three to build a platform.

Bookouture looks as if they want to take over the platform-building role.

As I said, interesting.

But…

Here’s the thing. To do this well, Bookouture won’t be able to take on many authors. I’ve no idea what their startup capital is, but building platform is time-intensive. A literary agent shepherded an author through this process. It didn’t always work, because writers are contrary souls, and platform-building takes a high level of commitment from everyone involved.

I admit I haven’t done more than scan this website, but even a quick glance leaves you with many questions.

This is a new publishing model, and that’s a good thing, because the old one never worked for authors, although it kept publishers afloat.

Should you submit to Bookouture?

That’s up to you. My big concern is rights. What rights do Bookouture license, for how long? When do authors get their rights back if they no longer want to publish with Bookouture?

Barnes & Noble’s PubIt!(TM): a Digital Publishing and Distribution Platform

Barnes & Noble is leaping aboard the electronic publishing express in a big way. In addition to their Nook ereader, they’ve announced PubIt, a digital publishing platform for publishers and writers.

Their press release Barnes & Noble Announces PubIt!(TM), An Easy-to-Use Digital Publishing and Distribution Platform for Independent and Self-Publishers – MarketWatch says:

“NEW YORK, May 19, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Barnes & Noble, Inc. (BKS 19.77, +0.27, +1.38%) , the world’s largest bookseller, is extending its deep and longstanding tradition of supporting authors and publishers with PubIt! by Barnes & Noble, an easy and lucrative way for independent publishers and self-publishing writers to distribute their works digitally through Barnes & Noble.com and the Barnes & Noble eBookstore. The easy-to-use publishing and distribution platform offers qualified independent publishers and authors of self-published works expanded distribution, visibility and protection that only Barnes & Noble can offer.”

The details haven’t been announced yet. It’ll be interesting to see what kinds of royalties they offer, and whether they demand exclusivity.